The goal of the Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship is to advance two principles that Conable held dear: intellectual freedom and mentorship.
The scholarship provides for conference registration, transportation, and housing for six nights, along with a $300 stipend for meals and other expenses. In return, the recipient will be expected to attend FTRF and other intellectual freedom meetings and events at the conference, consult with a mentor/board member, and provide a report about their experiences. The recipient also will receive a one-year FTRF membership and will be invited, although not required, to provide daily updates about his or her experience on the Freedom to Read Foundation blog.
The deadline for submitting an application for the 2015 Conable Conference Scholarship is Friday, April 3, 2015; the award will be announced by the first week in May.
Who is eligible: Students currently enrolled in an ALA-accredited library and information studies degree program or an AASL-recognized master’s program in school librarianship and new professionals (those who are three or fewer years removed from receiving a library school degree) are eligible to receive the Conable Conference Scholarship. Those interested must submit an application that includes two references and an essay detailing their interest in intellectual freedom issues. Applicants also are required to attach a résumé. If the recipient has already registered for ALA’s Annual Conference, he or she will have the conference fee refunded.
About Gordon M. Conable: Gordon Conable was a California librarian and intellectual freedom champion who served several terms as president of the Freedom to Read Foundation. He was executive vice president for public libraries at Library Systems and Services (LSSI) in Riverside, Calif., and was responsible for management and performance ofLSSI’s public library contracts, including the 30-branch Riverside County, Calif., system. He also served as director of the Monroe County (Mich.) Library System from 1988–1998. During his tenure there, he withstood an intense controversy over Madonna's book "Sex.” Before that he was associate director of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library in Washington. For his efforts, Conable received the Freedom to Read Foundation Roll of Honor Award and ALA's John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award for "intellectual freedom fighters.” In 1994 he was the first librarian recognized as Michigan’s Public Administrator of the Year.
Following his unexpected death in 2005, his wife and FTRF created the Conable Fund, which provides funding for the Conable Scholarship. To date, seven Conable Scholarships have been granted. You can contribute to the Conable Fund online or by contacting FTRF at (800) 545-2433, ext. 4226 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.